Happy one year birthday, Pre Plus 32
Announced at CES 2010 in flurry of activity including the Pixi Plus, PDK gaming, video recording and expansion in North America to Verizon Wireless, the Pre Plus represented the first hardware revision to Palm's flagship smartphone. Beyond the cosmetic change of losing the Pre's iconic "ball-bearing" home button in the gesture area, the Pre Plus also sported improvements to hardware durability, twice the RAM at 512MB as well as double the storage capacity for better multitasking. In fact, the Pre Plus demonstrated it's prowess as a multitasking monster by handily opening over 50 apps at once in Pre|Central's initial review of the device.The Pre Plus was more than just a powerful multitasking machine, though. In it's exclusive introduction on Verizon Wireless, it came bundled with the incredibly useful ability to be used as mobile hotspot for up to 5 devices at no extra charge, a rare commodity for the time.
Demonstrating the ability to move much more swiftly the second time around, the Pre Plus became available for sale on Big Red less than twenty days after the CES announcement, much to the joy of the webOS community. From there, Palm helped to expand webOS's reach on the Pre Plus to AT&T, and across multiple carriers in Europe and Canada. No small feat for Palm, then still a tiny company in the face of behemoths like Google and Apple.
In the rapidly dwindling days before webOS's next big event, it's easy to disregard the Pre Plus as nothing more signficant than a footnote in the history of the platform. I would argue that but compared to the devices of it's day, it was a more than formidable competitor, cursed by bad marketing and bad timing. Let's hope this time around, Palm and HP can keep the launch timetable close to the bar that the Pre Plus set, and have the marketing support to do it justice.
So Happy Birthday, Palm Pre Plus! Even though you're riding off into the sunset now, you'll always have a place in our hearts.